Be Careful Little Fingers What You Type

In Sunday school, we sang a song that went like this:

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

The other verses went on to say “O be careful little ears what you hear” and “Little hands what you do” and so on. It’s a simple message, but one we sometimes forget the older we get.

typing

Photo Credit: Simon Hattinga Verschure

This past Sunday, our youth director dredged up old photos of me he found on Facebook–none that were overly embarrassing or risque, but definitely ones I had kind of forgotten are still floating around on there. It got me thinking about the amount of content we leave behind on the Internet these days. Fortunately my Xanga, which I had essentially treated like an online diary, no longer exists for public consumption. Even now I can read old posts I had published on there and pinpoint exactly who I was writing about, despite the lack of actual names. What was I thinking I wonder as I read them.

There are interesting parts of being able to look back on our old posts and photos–while I’m horrified at some of what I wrote on my Xanga, I’m also occasionally impressed that high school Brianna was thinking so deeply about certain topics. It’s a little bit weird but a little bit fun and fascinating to have an online record of years of my life, and while there is some content I’d probably un-post, most of it I’d let live on. The photos and random thoughts that flitted through my head (and were somehow deemed Facebook worthy) may not represent who I am anymore, but they represented who I was at that time.

But I also wonder if we might be wise to heed the words of the song, and “O be careful little fingers what you type.” It’s easy for me to quickly send tweets or Facebook updates on the fly, without fully thinking through what I might be unintentionally saying underneath the words or how my message might come across to other people. What I mean and what other people read will not always be the same. Not only that, but many things we post on the Internet that don’t really need to be posted. They may not be outrightly cruel or inappropriate, but they’re also not making the world a better place.

It’s a grey land as to what kind of content “makes the world a better place,” to be sure. Many of my tweets revolve around food and are, to me at least, somewhat amusing. Is the chance of bringing a slight smile to someone’s face worth the tweet? Mostly I say yes.

But I know there have been times when I’ve posted as an outlet for frustration or anger, and in hindsight, the Internet was probably not the best place for those words. As an adult, I’m annoyed at myself for even writing this post–shouldn’t the reminder to “Be careful little fingers what you type” be constrained to the world of children and teenagers? Except I know that it can’t be. I’m not going to quit using the Internet, but since I’m not, I have to be aware of how I use the Internet and try to do so wisely and in a way that benefits others.

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

p.s. How do you stay mindful of what you post online?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s